Work on international airport at Halwara all set to take off

Work on international airport at Halwara all set to take off

A view of Sahnewal airport. file photo

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 11

The proposed international airport project to come up at Halwara with an aim of putting the industrial capital of the state on the global air map has come a bit closer towards realisation with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, issuing a notification under Sections 19 and 21 (1) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, for acquisition of 161.27 acres at Aitiana village in Raikot tehsil of Ludhiana district.

Timeline for the project

  • December 3, 2018: Project gets nod from Punjab Cabinet.

    n December 20, 2018: MoU signed between Punjab Government and the AAI for the project.

  • February 28, 2019: Notification issued under Section 4 (1) of the Act for social impact assessment.

  • May 2, 2019: Public hearing of persons likely to be affected by land acquisition under Section 5 of the Act.

  • July 17, 2019: Notification for acquisition of 161.27 acres in Aitiana village issued under Section 11 of the Act.

  • September 2019: Public hearing of land owners held.

  • October 2019: Approval of Relief and Rehabilitation (R&R) Scheme from Commissioner, Patiala Division.

  • December 2019: Data collection for transfer of compensation amount to land owners.

  • December 2019: Final notification for the acquisition of 161.27 acres issued under Sections 19 and 21(1) of the Act.

Officials of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA), the nodal agency for execution of the project on behalf of the Government of Punjab, said, “The notification under Sections 19 and 21(1) issued on December 2, 2019, is practically the last step towards acquisition of land for the project.”

“Other statutory requirements for land acquisition like notification under Section 11, holding a social impact survey and compilation of Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) Scheme as per Sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Act have already been fulfilled,” they added.

Vide this notification, the GLADA authorities have been directed to take possession of the land identified for acquisition. The affected land owners have been asked to file their claims for compensation as well as rehabilitation and resettlement for all interests in such land to the Land Acquisition Collector-cum-Additional Chief Administrator of GLADA. Further, Aitiana village in Raikot tehsil of the Ludhiana district has been declared ‘resettlement area’ for the international airport project through the said notification.

The final notification for acquisition of land has made mention of the summary of the approved R&R Scheme, which laid down that benefits like choice of annuity at lump sum rate of Rs 5 lakh and resettlement allowance of Rs 50,000 would be provided to each affected family.

Besides, the stamp duty and other fee/charges payable for the registration of land or house allotted to affected family, if any, shall be borne by the project authorities.

As per the notification a plan has been formulated to map skills of affected families and their educational competence besides identifying the gap to be filled by suitable training modules in a bid to recapitalise the skill of education of the affected family members to help them get gainful employment.

It has been stated that out of the total land proposed to be acquired for the project, 150 acres were privately owned and 90 families cultivating this land were likely to be affected. Ownership of the rest of the land is vested with the state government.

The airport at Halwara, which is third in Punjab after Amritsar and Mohali, is to be jointly constructed by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and the Punjab Government .

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